TARAJI P. HENSON
Taraji Penda Henson (born September 11, 1970) is best known for her roles as Yvette in Baby Boy (2001), Shug in Hustle and Flow (2005) and Queenie in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2009. In 2009, she appeared in Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself as April, an alcoholic singer.
Henson has appeared in the films Four Brothers (2005), Talk To Me (2007), Smokin’ Aces (2007), Tyler Perry’s The Family That Preys (2008), Not Easily Broken (2009), and Hurricane Season (2009). In late 2008, she starred opposite Brad Pitt in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Henson plays the role of Queenie, Benjamin’s mother, in a performance which has garnered critical acclaim and an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She noted in an interview that, “Queenie is the embodiment of unconditional love.”
Henson has also been a cast member on several television shows, including Lifetime Television’s The Division and ABC’s Boston Legal for one season. Her recurring appearances in television include the character Angela Scott on the ABC television show “Eli Stone” in December 2008. She has guest-starred on several television shows, such as The WB show Smart Guy playing the role of Monique (1997–1998), the Fox Television show House in 2005 and the CBS Television show CSI in 2006. She also starred on an episode of Sister, Sister.
Henson made her singing debut in Hustle & Flow; she provided the vocals for the Three 6 Mafia track “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp”. The song won an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2006, giving Three 6 the distinction of becoming the first Black hip-hop act to win in the category. Henson performed the song at the Oscars on March 5, 2006 with the group.
Henson has made several appearances on music videos. Henson appeared in the rapper Common’s music video called “Testify” in 2005 as the wife of a soon to be convicted murderer. On December 5, 2008, Jamie Foxx premiered his new music video “Just Like Me” on TBS featuring T.I. and Henson, the latter engaging Foxx in a series of “anything you can do, I can do better” style events.